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tv   The Week in Parliament  BBC News  July 1, 2017 2:30am-3:01am BST

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in by china's president xi jinping, she is the first woman to hold hong kong's top post. and the chinese and hong kong flags have been raised in a ceremony to commemorate 20 years of chinese rule in the former british territory. president trump says years of strategic patience with north korea have failed and are now over. with south korea's president moonjae—in at the white house, he said the menace of north korea should be met with a determined response. the iraqi army says it will announce the total recapture of mosul from the so—called islamic state group, within the next few days. but fighting remains fierce, and the situation for civilians still trapped in the old city deteriorates further, in the searing summer heat. now on bbc news, the week in parliament. hello and welcome to
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the week in parliament. coming up, the government gets the queen's speech through the commons, but only after adopting a new policy on abortions for women from northern ireland. i am happy to withdraow the amendment today. let us send a message to women everywhere that, in this parliament, their voices will be heard and their rights upheld. hear, hear! also on this programme. i will be reporting on the first prime minister's questions of the new parliament. and in the week that saw elections for deputy speakers to help out john bercow, we have got some top tips on delivering that famous line. a little bit of welsh lilt. order! but first, the queen's speech is the first business of any new parliament. it sets out the programme that ministers hope to put into law. after the election left it without an overall majority,
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the government finally agreed a deal with the dup in the week, to make sure its key policies get through. but it came at a price — just over a £1 billion to keep the ten northern ireland mps onside for the next two years. so it was with a slender working majority of 13 that the government launched the queen's speech into the commons. labour put down an amendment, calling for an end to the pay cap limiting increases for public sector workers to i% and called for an end to cuts in the funding of public services, linking them to the recent terrorist attacks and the grenfell tower fire. how long are they going to pursue austerity? when any parent who has a child at school, anyone who has been at an accident and emergency department, anyone who has an elderly relative in need of social care can see for themselves that cuts have consequences and that there is a human price to pay for tory austerity. amber rudd rejected that
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and insisted public safety was "an absolute priority" for the government. she pointed to the response to the grenfell fire. fire crews were on the scene within six minutes and over 200 firefighters responded. can the shadow home secretary really suggest that the numbers were inexcusably low? we should remember that the number of fire incidents has halved in the last decade, but the number of firefighters has fallen by less than 20%. but at the end of the debate, labour's amendment to end the pay cap and public sector cuts was defeated. the ayes to the right, 309. the nos to the left, 323. tory cheering. the government seeing off that amendment to lift the pay cap by 14 votes, although those cheers from the conservative side angered some.
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throughout the day, there had been suggestions — later rejected — that the government might reconsider the 1% limit, but in the end, there was no public change of heart. but the next day, when the queen's speech returned to the commons forthe finaltime, ministers did have to bring in a new policy, to make sure their plans for government got through. the government was facing three amendments — one from the official opposition, calling for an end to austerity. one from labour's chuka umunna on brexit and a third from another labour mp, stella creasy, on abortion rights for women from northern ireland. health is a devolved issue and women who travel from northern ireland to england for terminations currently have to pay for them. stella creasy‘s amendment calling for an end to those payments had gathered cross—party support. and so it was that, during a debate aboutjobs and the economy, that chancellor philip hammond
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announced the government would give way. my understanding is that my right honourable friend, the minister for women and equalities, is is just about to make an announcement by way of a letter to show that they would intervene to provide finance for anyone in this situation coming from northern ireland. i think this is a sensible compromise. it is good that the government is looking to end this injustice, but the devil will be in the detail. could he make a commitment to meet with me and other relevant organisations, to look at how we can turn this into a reality, so these women in northern ireland today will finally have their voices heard. and at the end of the debate, ms creasy announced she would be withdrawing her amendment. let us send a message
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to women everywhere that, in this parliament, their voices will be held and their rights upheld. hear, hear! stella creasy. well, those arguments, which illustrated the challenges facing a minority government, overshadowed the last day of debate on the queen's speech, when the focus was supposed to be on the economy. labour's shadow chancellor called for an end to austerity. we have a government that cannot feed their people, house the people adequately or protect our children from poverty. it cannot ensure that, when people go to work, they earn enough to live on, and they cannot maintain basic public services. that is a government which does not deserve to remain in office. just two years ago, labour at least pretended that its figures added up. it would pay for its plans. they would not bankrupt the country.
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not any more. not only wuold they hike taxes, they would embark on a massive expansion of borrowing and subject the country to a catastrophic and bankrupting economic policy of nationalisation not seen since the 1970s. people are feeling the pain of a decade of wage stagnation. they are feeling the effects of rising inflation, which is rising even faster than was predicted in the budget. people are looking at how we can make the household budgets last. this is a reality for people here. the conservatives fail repeatedly to understand this. they talk about how great the economy is. people do not feel these things. that is not their experience.
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there is an underlying malaise, not just in this country but in other western economies, which is the long—term legacy of the 2008 financial crisis, which destroyed government budgets, kill business investment and depress living standards. in this country, we are just beginning to emerge from that debacle. now, we have superimposed on top of that, the self—inflicted pain of brexit. sir vince cable. well, at the end of that last day of debate on the queen's speech, the government saw off a labour amendment on austerity. it also defeated another on brexit, which had been put down by labour mp chuka ummuna. he wanted the uk to remain part of the single market. labour members were told to abstain on that vote, but 50 rebelled and later, jeremy corbyn sacked three of his shadow ministers, for backing mr umunna's amendment.
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so, theresa may passed herfirst big parliamentary test, with the queen's speech approved by a majority of 14. the previous day, she had faced her first pmqs since the general election. political commentator james millar was watching. the first prime minister's questions of the new parliament and much has changed since the last session back in april. but, to almost everyone‘s surprise, given the expected election result and the actual election result, the two protagonists remained the same — theresa may and jeremy corbyn. the labour leader began the session in sombre and statesman—like fashion with some questions about the grenfell fire tragedy, to which the prime minister gave serious answers. as of this morning, the cladding of 120 tower blocks across the country in 37 local authority areas had been tested and failed the combustibility test. given the 100% failure rate, we are very clear with local
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authorities and housing associations that they should not wait for test results. they should get on with the job of fire safety checks and, indeed, they are doing that. and they should take any necessary action and the government will support them in doing that. but it did not take long for party politics to break out, as corbyn sought to connect the tragedy to austerity. when you cut local authority budgets by 40%, we all pay a price in public safety. fewer inspectors, fewer building control inspectors, fewer planning inspectors. we all pay a price. and, mr speaker, those cuts to the fire service have meant there are 11,000 fewer firefighters. the public sector pay cap is hitting recruitment and retention right across the public sector. theresa may may be prime minister, but her position has changed. she is considerably weakened by losing her majority at an election she called. it looks like opposition mps
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will not let her forget it. labour's jo stevens joked about the prime minister's gamble which had gone wrong. i know the prime minister is well aware of the misery and suffering caused by reckless gambling. and following her recent own experience, her own experience, and the turmoil it has caused to herfriends and colleagues, will she now commit to legislating against fixed odds betting terminals, the cause of so much hardship across our community? conservative backbencher philip davies' pet subjects have not changed and, this week, it was overseas aid, as he took a vicious swipe at that tory election manifesto. spending more and more money on overseas aid each year does not make us more compassionate to the public, it makes us look idiotic, when that money is needed in the united kingdom. can she promise to slash the overseas aid budget and spend it on priorities in the uk?
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i hope she doesn't have a strange aversion to pursuing policies that might be popular with the public. with the defeat of angus robertson in the general election, the snp group in the commons has a new leader and he also made a reference to the fact that she now relies on the dup for her majority. the scottish secretary insisted that scotland would seek increased funding, like the dup secured funding for northern ireland. i quote, "i am not going to keep anything which could be regarded as back door funding for northern ireland. " did the prime minister received any recommendations from her colleagues before that was signed? i don't remember when the money was announced for scotland when the honourable gentleman complaining about more money going to northern ireland.
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but then, of course, he is a nationalist and not a unionist. suicide rates in northern ireland, and particularly in my constituency, and issues of severe mental health are some of the worst in europe and, indeed, in the developed world. and clinicians and others have pointed to the legacy of 30 years of terrorism and violence and the awful effects of that. part of the money that we have for investing this week goes to mental health care. extra investment in the health service. isn't it time that people recognised that this is a delivery for all of the people of northern ireland, across all sections of the community, and it is going to help some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people in northern ireland. and people should get behind it and welcome it. but in the queen's speech debate the following day, one conservative made clear she was far from happy. i can barely put into words my anger at the deal my party has done with the dup. we didn't need to do it. i cannot fault the dup for wanting to achieve the very best for their residents in northern ireland, nor for their tough negotiating skills.
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but i must put on record my distaste for the use of public funds to garner political control. heidi allen. now, let's take at some of the other news from around westminster in brief. over 700,000 pieces of nhs correspondence, rather than being delivered, were put into a warehouse by a company called nhs shared business services, or sbs. correspondence which did not reach its intended destination includes blood tests, cancer screening and child protection notes. i was advised by my officials not to make the issue public last march until an assessment of the risks to patient safety had been completed. the cost of this debacle could be at least {6.6 million for administration fees alone. that is is the equivalent to the average annual salary of 230 nurses. the family of the murdered labour mp jo cox unveiled a memorial plaque in her honour.
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it bears the motto "more in common", a phrase from her maiden speech. nicola sturgeon has abandoned her demands for a new scottish independence referendum before the brexit deal is signed. in the general election, the snp lost a third of its seats at westminster. in holyrood, nicola sturgeon said she now wanted to give people a choice at the end of the brexit process. i am, therefore, confirming today that, having listened and reflected, the scottish government will reset the plan i set out on march 13th. we will not seek to introduce the legislation for an independence referendum immediately. instead, we will, in good faith, redouble our efforts and put our shoulder to the wheel, in seeking to influence the brexit talks in a way that protects scotland's interests. but the issue which we have had this last year is of a first minister who has tried to use the uk's decision to leave the european union to try and impose another referendum
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on independence on scotland at the earliest opportunity. no "once in a generation". no edinburgh agreement of respecting the result. just a single vision drive to the line by nicola sturgeon, to try and secure her place in history. as her own msps have accepted, that decision cost her 21 seats and the support of half a million scottish voters in the general election. the truth is, the threat of a unwanted second independence referendum is dead and this did not happen because nicola sturgeon wanted it to. the people of scotland have taken that decision for her. if she wants to prove she has listen, the first thing the first minister should do is trigger a vote in this chamber which would rule out another independence referendum in this parliamentary term. there wasjubilation in the german parliament after it voted overwhelmingly to legalise same—sex marriage, after the chancellor, angela merkel,
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changed her position and decided to allow mps to vote according to their consciences. the measure will grant gay and lesbian couples full marital rights, including the right to adopt children. back to westminster, where the long—stand tradition that male mps should wear a tie in the commons chamber appears to have been abandoned. the question came after one mp, tom brake, appeared in the chamber and asked a question without one. it seems to me that as long as a member arrives in the house in what might thought to be business—like attire, the question of whether that member is wearing a tie is not absolutely front and centre stage. so, am i minded not to calla member simply because that member is not wearing a tie? no. now, securing trade deals after brexit will be like "filling a swimming pool with a teaspoon", according to one of the government's
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top infrastructure advisers. labour's lord adonis, the head of the national infrastructure commission, was moving an amendment to the the queen's speech, regretting that it contained no plan for britain to remain in the customs union and the single market. in total, more than 60%, 60% of our trade, is with the eu or third countries where we enjoy free and preferential access by virtue of customs union and single market membership. my lords, the government's brexit policy is basically one of trying to filla swimming pool with a teaspoon. it is an interesting and very challenging idea, but don'tjump in for about three centuries. taking back our own control over our own affairs includes gaining control of our borders and setting out our own immigration policies. we've also made clear that we respect the referendum outcome. we cannot enter being half
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in and half out of the eu. so, my lords, we will be leaving the single market and customs union. i would approach herjob with immense trepidation. she is carrying a valuable vase across a rather polished floor. in the government's hands is the future of our economy. and, thus, the well—being of our people. how the government negotiates our future with the eu will have immense consequences on businesses, workers, consumers, people, trade unions. and for generations to come. every time the minister attacks those who ask questions about the detail of brexit as unpatriotic, people on the continent, as well as here, become more suspicious that the government still does not know the answers. to those who want to stop brexit, and i have heard one or two speeches which seem to say they would like to, we must listen to the democratic
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decision of the people. i was particular struck by lord adonis, who made a very good speech but it seemed to me that he was ignoring the fact that we had a referendum. of course, we will still, with control, be able to import into this, people who have come into this country as immigrants, people with the necessary skills or the necessary unskilled people to fill certainjob, but the public have made it very clear that they wanted tighter control of our borders. once one has accepted that, once one has also accepted free trade, the logic is inescapable that one must leave the single market. what i believe, and my nose which is close to the ground, is that the future will have blood on the streets because up at the level that we are, we cannot give the benefit of the doubt, we cannot go to people who we know are not doing as well as we could and say to them, let's work together.
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and when lord oak said earlier that, in fact, the poor are going to pay for brexit, i say, ok, how can the house of lords and the house of commons stop the poor playing for brexit? lord baird. mps elected a new deputy speaker on wednesday. labour's former chief whip rosie winterton will serve alongside lindsay hoyle and eleanor laing, who were both re—elected. they will help john bercow to keep order in the commons. gabrielle o'neill asked a former deputy speaker, nigel evans, if he could pass on any tips to the new recruit. we do have a little booklet, and it contains the photographs and constituencies and names of every member of parliament. i think the trick for rosie is to do what i used to do which is start at the top left and work your way along the chamber and go back and mentally say the name of the person you are looking at.
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and if you can't get the name, then you look through the book, and have a look at the photograph and then start again. and just make sure that you remember the person's name. i used to do it even when i was in the tea room, and i used to look at mps, mentally i would say their names in my head. and if i couldn't get the name, i would go and get the book. and how do you deal with a rowdy chamber? labour mp ian austin found out in 2012. ian was shouting at george osborne as chancellor of the exchequer and he wouldn't let it go, so the usual "order! order!" just didn't work. and ijust stood up and i yelled at ian to shut up. and, basically, do you understand? do you understand ? and i remember, actually, glenda jackson coming up to me afterwards and saying, nigel, i was in my office and had the tv on on the parliament channel and you yelled at ian, even my office went quiet. and just a reminder of the key phrases that all speakers
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and deputies must use. a little bit of welsh lilt. order! nigel evans with a call to order. some of the new mps from the 2017 intake have been making their debuts in the commons this week. so, what are the key elements of a maiden speech? claire gould has our countdown. praise your constituency. it's the best place in the country full of the best people, and lib dem layla moran has a bold claim for abingdon in her oxford west constituency. it is the oldest town. colchester, go away and try harder. prove you're more than just a career politician and tell the house about your practical experience. conservative damien mooore clearly felt that his previous job as a supermarket manager would be a huge help in his new role. only time will tell if my audience
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this afternoon is as receptive as my customers were to my prices. some say it is best not to be too political in your maiden speech. but that is impossible to resist for many. the only new snp mp david linden took the opportunity to lay into the government. it is simply unacceptable that in glasgow east, 6,234 children are deemed as living in poverty. that is the burning injustice the prime minister must be pursuing right now. praise your predecessor. even if they came from the opposing party. the dup‘s paul girvan had warm words for the former uup mp for south antrim. danny and i, although we were on opposite sides during the election, we were the best of friends. now, i don't know whether danny will still say that about me now, in that i took his seat. and if you want to be sure of always catching the speaker's eye, it is a good idea to point out something unique
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and memorable about yourself. like labour's new mp for bristol north west. ..and now, so i am told, mr deputy speaker, the first ever darren elected to this house of commons. bristol north west is an historic and fascinating constituency. claire gould. and that is it from us for another week, but dojoinjoanna shinn on monday night at 11 for another round—up of the best of the day here at westminster, including questions to the home secretary, amber rudd. but for now, from me, alicia mccarthy, goodbye. is that what is saturday looking
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like across the uk? it does not look that bad at all. for most of us there will be sunshine. the morning maybe cloudy and even a few spots of rain particular across east anglia and the south—east are just a bit of darkness nothing more, the weather is quiet. let's see how we will end the night. just a little damp weather there across the south—east but for most of us dry into the evening. temperature early on saturday morning will be hovering around mid—teens across most of england and wales, scotland and northern ireland are a little fresher. the chilly morning in sport in ireland, possibly a touch of grass frost. this is the morning in the north—west and the weather looks absolutely fine. lots of sunshine around but the weather will be closing in in the western parts of
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scotland. a few spots of rain for the western isles by late morning. fines and northern ireland at this stage and most of england also looking fine. a fair bit cloud around, yes, but the cloud should be seen and it will be breaking up through the course of the morning. if you were out in the morning and it looks great, chances are that later on in the day it could be a lot brighter if not funnier. you can see a sliver of sunshine developing across western areas, spreading across western areas, spreading across the country. there is also a weather front spreading into scotla nd weather front spreading into scotland and northern ireland so here are a few spots of rain and where we will have the coolest of the weather. the rest of the warmth in the sunshine across england or to 24 in the sunshine across england or to 2a degrees in london. overall, not a bad day. notice this weak weather front. that means cloud a few spots of rain moving across the country during the course of saturday night into sunday morning and it may be slow to clear on sunday. that means the morning on sunday in the south may be quite damp. the north will also have showers and it will be
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blustery in the early morning as well. these are the temperatures on sunday. 22 in london, a little fresher. and we have showers. into next week, sunday night into monday we will see weather fronts moving through so there will be further spells of light rain across some northern areas. here is a summery for the weekend. dry for most of us, not too bad at all with some sunshine and pleasantly warm. the. hello and welcome to bbc news. i am reged ahmed. hong kong's newly appointed chief executive carrie lam has been sworn in by china's president xi jinping, she is the first woman to hold hong kong's top post. our correspondentjuliana liu is in hong kong earlier she told me
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